Did someone say "The
Runes of Western Civilization"? All the great heresies are here:
poignant rhymes, literate feints and graceless parries, the bogus and
the beautiful, elliptical, epochal and incidental, and even a poem--held
to a refrigerator by a Goofy magnet--by Carla. The filibuster of philosophical
flourishes edited by Kimberly Filbee's philiate (filial) appendex is not
to be missed, as this punk spymaster sings the collective nose-ring off
our wilting, unwitnessing unconscience.
--Brian Kim Stefans
Diving into the viscera, Ben Friedlander arrives at a poetry fierce with
pleasure and dis-ease. A Knot Is Not a Tangle offers a splendid
trip through the lurid truths of the world, tied together by a lyric entirely
haunted, stark, and clear.
Ben has always and variously pusued that point at which his language lifts
off from rational sense and allows us to glimpse something else, between
the lines, projective. His lyric poems work that line that connects despair
to comedy, that tenuous human line. Their mixture of technical human inventiveness
and rueful or exuberant recklessness is compelling, going where language
leads rather than where it's led, giving up control in order to change,
to move, to get somewhere, to travel.
--David Levi Strauss